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Thread: Depression cake

  1. #1
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    Default Depression cake

    We made this today. It was very heavy - almost more of a quick bread texture than cake, but it had good flavor, and doesn't take eggs or butter. It's not the one my mother in law remembers, though, so I am going to keep looking.


    • 1 cup shortening
    • 2 cups water
    • 2 cups raisins
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 2 cups white sugar
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda

    • In a saucepan combine the shortening, water, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove form heat and let stand until cool.





    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9x13 inch baking pan.
    2. Stir the flour and baking soda into the cooled raisin mixture and mix until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
    3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes.
    We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls. ~Robert J. McCracken

    "I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering...to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people." Grover Cleveland

  2. #2
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    Default

    I'm trying this one tomorrow - she thinks the coffee might be the key!

    1-1/2 cups Raisins
    1-1/4 cups sugar
    1 cup strong coffee
    1 cup grated apple (about 1 medium)
    1/2 cup shortening
    2 cups flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground allspice
    1 teaspoon ground cloves
    1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
    powdered sugar (optional)


    Directions:COMBINE raisins, sugar, coffee or water, apple and butter in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes. (Mixture should measure 2-3/4 to 3 cups total.)
    COOL 10 minutes. (Do not omit this step)
    PREHEAT oven to 350F. Coat a 13x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
    MIX flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices in a small bowl. Add to raisin mixture in saucepan; stir well to combine. Add nuts.
    POUR batter into prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
    Serve slightly warm or cool, dusted with powdered sugar if desired.

    Makes 12 servings.
    We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls. ~Robert J. McCracken

    "I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering...to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people." Grover Cleveland

  3. #3
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    Default

    Here is one from the depression that we make pretty often - whenever we have leftover mashed potatoes.

    Mash Potato Cake

    4 eggs
    1 scant cup of butter
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup mashed potatoes
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 cup cocoa
    1 cup chopped nuts
    1 tablespoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon nutmeg
    1 teaspoon cloves
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 1/2 cups flour

    Mix together eggs, butter, sugar until creamy. Add the mashed potatoes, blend well. Sift the flour once add the baking powder sift again, then add the cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, to the flour, add alternately the flour mixture and milk to the first 4 ingredients. Mix well add the vanilla and the nuts stir until all are blended. Pour into either loaf or cake pans that have been greased. Bake in a moderately hot oven at 350/o for 35 to 45 minutes, or until when checked with tooth pick comes out clean, or when press with finger on top of cake and it springs back.
    We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls. ~Robert J. McCracken

    "I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering...to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people." Grover Cleveland

  4. #4
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    The first one if very close to "Mom Zimmer's" Lumberjack cake. I've seen almost identical recipes as "Depression Cake." Mom Zimmer died at about 88 around 1992, and she gave me the recepe when I was dating her son (not DH). I make it every winter to remember her, and it is very good though it is quite heavy.

    There's another version I've seen called "War Cake," with the same idea. It is the boiled raisen's the really make the cakes. I've done them with mixed dried fruit and that works too.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  5. #5
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    Default

    Somewhere I've seen a version that used lard instead of shortening, but this version in the 60's was from a passel of church ladies who were older farm wives whose families butchered a couple hogs every years, so lard was plentiful.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DryRun View Post
    Somewhere I've seen a version that used lard instead of shortening, but this version in the 60's was from a passel of church ladies who were older farm wives whose families butchered a couple hogs every years, so lard was plentiful.
    I always use lard whenever shortening is called for, because we have pigs and render our own.
    We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls. ~Robert J. McCracken

    "I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering...to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people." Grover Cleveland

  7. #7
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    I recently discovered that my mom's award winning pie crust was supposed to be made with lard, but it was changed to shorting in the 1960's because "they said lard was bad for you." I suspect a lot of the old recipe's (including Mom Zimmers) had lard as the original ingredient which changed when lard became less popular and shortening was common in every kitchen. I've now made the pie crust with lard and it does turn out much better. Sadly when we moved here you could buy lard in every store, now I can't find it anywhere unless we render our own. Which I don't always have time to do...
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disastercat View Post
    . Sadly when we moved here you could buy lard in every store, now I can't find it anywhere unless we render our own. Which I don't always have time to do...
    look in the hispanic section of foods. Its normally where i have to look. Can always go to a hispanic store and i can almost guarantee they have it in stock and cheaper than a typical grocery store would.

  9. #9
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    dilligaf - here we have more Asian stores than Mexican, though some of the stores in Dublin do have some Mexican products. I even got Venezuelan corn flour to do Arapas there last time I was in Dublin (last year for my November birthday). I have never seen Masa here (other than Venezuelan which won't work for tamales) though I have quite a bit that folks bring me from the US base PX's in Germany and the UK.

    That sad, yes I do think that the Asian stores may be a good place to look for lard, the Chinese one in Dublin seems Chinese owned (some are really Pakistani and would not have any pork products) and I should have friends check there. It keeps forever in the freezer (I still have beef dripping that's fine after about four years, it is what the store gave me the last time I tried to order "lard," works for meat pies but not pumpkin).

    My mother-in-law sends me real Mexican and South Western spices from Dallas, so I have most of the peppers listed (as powders for the most part). I've had Europeans tell me they have never tasted chili like mine and I tell that is what it is supposed to taste like. Not the local weird concoctions that sometimes add curry powder or five spice mix! Sometimes I think the Irish just think that anything "foreign" and "hot" should be thrown in together, *shudder.*

    The last time we made tamales, we had three ex-pat American ladies and we had a great time. Mine got used over the next year and my Mormon friend said her husband was ecstatic. One thing about living overseas, you either learn to cook the food you want or go without a lot of the time. Basic Mexican style food is not something I want to live with out, so I have lots of pinto beans in larder.

    I just realized this last bit should be on the other thread, but since both the cakes and the tamales need lard the issues are about the same.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

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